Jailed former MP Mohd Shahbuddin, who is lodged in Tihar Jail and serving life term in a murder case, has been granted custody parole for three days by the Delhi High Court to meet his family in the national capital.
The former Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader, a convict and an undertrial, was shifted to Tihar jail in 2018 by the Supreme Court from Siwan jail in Bihar.
Justice A J Bhambhani noted that the police departments of both Bihar and Delhi are saying in unison that they cannot assure Shahbuddin’s custody and safety and alternatively, they are saying that they would need to deploy inordinately vast resources, if his custody and safety is to be ensured.
The high court granted “custody parole” to Shahbuddin for a period of six hours at a time on any three days of his choice, whether consecutive or otherwise, within 30 days from the date of the order, which was passed on Wednesday.
“On each of these three days, the petitioner (Shahbuddin) would be taken ‘in custody’ with adequate police security and protection, to a single address of his choice to be indicated by him in writing to the Jail Superintendent in advance, but only within the State of Delhi; which address and location would be verified and secured appropriately by the State,” it said.
The high court said during the period of custody parole, he shall be free to meet only his mother, wife and any other blood relatives but no one else and he shall be afforded sufficient privacy to interact with such persons as he pleases.
Shahbuddin, who is serving life sentence in a murder case, has sought custody parole to go to Siwan on the ground that his father passed away on September 19 and he wishes to spend time with his grieving mother, who is unwell, and family members and to offer prayers at the grave of his late father.
He was declared a history-sheeter Type A, or one who is beyond reform and has been a member of the legislative assembly on two occasions and a member of Parliament four times.
The apex court on February 15, 2018 had ordered shifting of Shahabuddin, now facing trial in over three dozen criminal cases, from Siwan Jail in Bihar to Tihar.
The top court’s order had come on a plea filed by Asha Ranjan, the widow of slain Siwan-based journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, and Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were killed in separate incidents by the gangster.
The top court had on October 30, last year upheld the conviction and sentence of Shahabuddin and three others in a 2004 double murder case in which two brothers were killed for not paying extortion money.
Satish and Girish Roshan were murdered in August 2004 in Siwan for refusing to pay extortion money.
A third brother, Rajiv Roshan, who was an eyewitness to the incident in which Shahabuddin''s men allegedly threw acid to kill the two brothers, was shot dead on June 6, 2014.
Roshan was killed when he was going to depose against Shahabuddin in the trial court despite threats from the don and his henchmen.
On December 9, 2015, a special judge at Siwan had convicted Shahabuddin and his associates for the murders and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
On August 30, 2018, the Patna High Court had upheld their conviction and sentence.